Wilt Secures GOP Nomination

Jeremy Aldrich -- April 20th, 2010

Tony Wilt secured the official Republican Party nomination to run for the seat Del. Matt Lohr will soon be vacating. Party officials announced the results moments ago on the courthouse steps. The election between Wilt, Harrisonburg Mayor Kai Degner, and any yet-to-be-announced independent candidates is slated for June 15.

Tony Wilt, John Elledge, Tracy Evans. Photo by Lindsay Aldrich

According to Chaz Evans-Haywood, chair of the Credentials Committee that counted the votes, 1,597 ballots were cast, 658 in the city and 939 in the county. Officials declined to provide specific vote totals, citing the need for party unity.

“I’m honored and humbled by all the turnout. It was a unified process,” Wilt said. “I’m grateful to John and Ted for a straight up, hard-fought race.”

“I’m ready to go up against the Mayor,” Wilt added. “I don’t know [the main differences between us]. I haven’t talked to him and don’t know much about him.” In response to a question, Wilt said that he would be willing to take part in a public debate “if that’s what’s needed.”

Mayor Degner’s campaign released a statement congratulating Wilt on his victory. Degner said, “I look forward to campaigning alongside him this spring. I know it will be a hard-fought race, but I believe my message of economic development will resonate with the voters of the 26th district.”

John Elledge, who stood beside Wilt as they took questions, said, “I’ll be proud to be supporting [Tony Wilt] in June.” When asked about the process, Elledge added, “The process is what it is, and Mr. Wilt did win.”

Brent Finnegan and Lindsay Aldrich contributed to this story.

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51 Responses to “Wilt Secures GOP Nomination”

  1. Kai says:

    I would like to congratulate Tony Wilt on his victory. I look forward to campaigning alongside him this spring.

  2. Emmy says:

    Well I can’t imagine anyone is shocked by that.

    Go Kai!!

  3. republitarian says:

    I doubt you two will be alone.

  4. cook says:

    Not surprised. Disappointed.

    Please understand: I have nothing against Mr. Wilt. I don’t even know Mr. Wilt.

    That’s the point.

    While standing in line tonight I was handed his literature which consisted of what groups he claims to be associated with and which important people have endorsed him. When I asked if there was any literature outlining his positions on certain relevant issues or listing what will be his legislative priorities, my inquiry was met with silence.

    Disappointed. Not necessarily with Mr. Wilt, but with the incredibly deficient process employed to select our next delegate.

  5. republitarian says:

    You signed a pledge, pal. No disappointment will be shown by you or anyone else who voted and made that pledge. Rick Claybrook may have violated his pledge but you sir…will not. Glad I couldn’t vote now.

  6. Will Koons says:

    @Republitarian – Is that an endorsement for Kai?

    • Emmy says:

      No it’s his hint that there will be an independent candidate now that the pubs have their man.

  7. Lowell Fulk says:

    Cook, do you mean to say that the Republicans of this area just selected a candidate by whom there was no stated position on any issues?

    I am shocked.

    At least John Elledge was know for his stand on issues…

  8. Woody says:

    Looks like enough people knew where Mr. Wilt stands to vote for him. Tony!

  9. Emmy says:

    “I’m honored and humbled by the all the turnout. It was a unified process,” Wilt said. “I’m grateful to John and Ted for a straight up, hard-fought race.”

    Does anyone else find that funny?

  10. cook says:

    Thanks, hburgnews, for covering this tonight. Good job.

  11. I, for one, welcome our newly selected overlord Wilt! Congratulations on your 96 hour blitzkrieg victory my liege!

  12. Mrs. B says:

    @ Cook: I know Tony personally and he’s pro-life and for smaller government (fiscal responsibility and no raising taxes). He’s a local businessman, so he knows what it means to own and operate a business in Rockingham County. I voted for Tony because I know him and his family and because I know he will support legislation that upholds conservative values. I’m proud to be one of the 658 city voters who came out today.
    @ Lowell: At least the Republican party let the voters decide who the candidate was. Shocking.

    • Lowell Fulk says:

      Hmm… Really Mrs. B?

      How were the candidates for each party chosen? What were the criteria to be a candidate?

    • Emmy says:

      Um, there was only one person who put their name in for the Democrats. Should they really have taken the time for a public vote on that?

    • Unless Tony Wilt tells me that he will go to Richmond and abolish the State death penalty, he is not “pro-life”.

      And unless Tony Wilt tells me how the Legislature is going to help fund state-mandated school and public safety expenses, he doesn’t have “conservative values”, he’s just another “borrow & spend conservative” – mortgaging Virginia’s future to Wall Street bond traders.

  13. Renee says:

    Just so you all know, the “Reply” link below each post lets you reply in a “threaded” fashion to an individual comment. It’s up to you whether or not you use it – I had just noticed a lot of people didn’t and I wanted to make sure everyone knew about this new hburgnews feature.

    • Lowell Fulk says:

      I thought that was the “reply” button I was clicking on Renee. Nice feature by the way.

  14. What I am finding a bit odd about this is the unwillingness to announce vote totals. I have never heard of vote totals not being announced before so as to achieve “party unity” anywhere ever in this country. What kind of party is this, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union?

  15. cook says:

    DNR is reporting Wilt with just under 60% of the vote. That big secret sure didn’t last long!

    • From today’s DNR:

      “But, according to a Republican source, Wilt received 950 votes to Harrisonburg City Councilman Ted Byrd’s 372 and city lawyer John Elledge’s 275.”

      That’s city & county combined.

      I thought I overheard at the courthouse that Ted finished first in the city with Wilt coming in second.

  16. Dave Briggman says:

    From Tony Wilt’s most recent emailing, congratulating himself? Why would anyone let a 21-year old sent out every email with spelling errors?

    “Please stayed tuned! “

  17. David Miller says:

    Dave, I’m sure the 21-year old send out just as good an email as you would have.

  18. Dave Briggman says:

    I’m not sending out campaign literature…though when I do, I’ll have a third party edit it…typing from small Blackberry screen ain’t the easiest to see, or read.

  19. David Miller says:

    I know the feeling, just taking some time out this morning to point out irony

  20. David Miller says:

    Renee, the reason I don’t like the reply button is that if I haven’t read the blog all day then the comment shortcut section has rolled over since I last looked. I’d miss anything posted using the reply to function unless I re-scroll through the entire conversation. Is there a way to make the comment summary on the top right of the blog more like facebook notifications, ie expandable to show all?

    • cook says:

      Or is there a way to let the user toggle to view either threaded comments or chronological comments?

      • There may be a way to do that, but I’m not certain.

        We’re continuing to make changes gradually, based on reader feedback. So, we will keep your comments in mind.

        One comment I’ve heard more than a few times is that the top story switching back and forth is confusing. Today, we’re trying just one top story to see if that helps.

      • Renee says:

        I’ve thought about this, too. A toggle feature would be nice. We’ll look into it.

  21. megan says:

    I agree with David regarding the reply button. Having more recent comments displayed on the sidebar could help as that takes you directly to the new comment. However I do like that you can reply directly to a comment rather than have to try to reference it by time stamp.

  22. I believe I see John Elledge’s fatal electoral weakness. I was looking at his glamor shot on the flikr pool photos and he is a wild-man! What kind of true “conservative” relies on suspenders alone? Belt AND suspenders John – that is the conservative course! Image matters.

  23. Jamie Smith says:

    Does this mean we won’t have John Elledge to kick around anymore?

  24. Here are the city-county numbers I’m hearing. This is unconfirmed, but nonetheless:

    CITY: 658 (total)
    Ted: 274
    Tony: 231
    John: 153

    COUNTY: 939 (total)
    Tony: 719
    Ted: 139
    John: 81

    If these numbers are correct, (and I think they are) Adam was right that Wilt would win, but wrong that it would have been close if Ted hadn’t run.

  25. About John’s suspenders being out of line? Well, maybe he is just the Larry King of local politics.

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